PM calls on Singapore workers to lift their game

by Hannah Norton20 May 2015
When it comes to service, Singapore may have made progress, but the city-state’s still got a long way to go, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says.

"Ask any tourist, or even a Singaporean, which country has good service? I don't think Singapore will come immediately to mind.”

Speaking at the Singapore Service Excellence Medallion Awards Ceremony on Monday, Lee cited Hong Kong as a city that succeeded in the transformation of its service industry after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997.

All Singaporeans have a role in creating a good service culture, Lee said.

And that includes HR professionals. Hiring is the first step in building a customer-friendly company.

Service is also essential to a company’s long term surivival, Dr Marcus Lee, academic director of the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University, told the Straits Times.

Dr Lee warned against complacency, referring to the labour crunch.

"Before, if you had an inefficient process, you could throw more staff at the problem and get away with it. Now you can't."

Progress is being made. The overall Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore rose from 67.2 points out of 100 in 2010 to 71.1 last year.

But the increase mainly came from areas such as finance and insurance. In contrast, customer satisfaction level slipped in retail, food and beverage (F&B) and tourism.

COMMENTS

  • by Concerned Singaporean 21/5/2015 9:35:08 AM

    It is imperative the mindset of employers need to change. There has to be a top-down approach to scrutinise all the touch-points a company makes with its customers. A rude remark made over the sales counter or a poorly handled telephone inquiry are examples that may seem insignificant, but it is the fundamentals of good customer service that may make or break a customer relationship. If Singapore truly aims to improve customer service at all levels, let the drive begin from a belief of its importance and the roll-out of effective training programs.

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